Road map and principles for built environment sustainability. Academic Article uri icon


  • The built environment, defined by the facilities and civil infrastructure systems that people use, is the fundamental foundation upon which a society exists, develops, and survives. As the main provider and the life cycle custodian of the built environment, the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry plays a critical role in determining the quality, integrity, and longevity of this foundation. In the execution of these two roles, provider and custodian, the AEC industry has had a major direct and indirect impact on the natural environment, contributing both directly and indirectly to natural resource depletion and degradation, waste generation and accumulation, and environmental impact and degradation. These impacts are not unique to the AEC industry. Other industries face similar challenges, and for many years, a wide range of constituencies within them have been attempting the implementation of the concept of sustainability within what these industries do, how they do it, and with what as a possible mechanism to slow, reduce, eliminate these impacts, and even restore conditions to a better state. In the pursuit of sustainability, the AEC industry faces challenges posed by the unique attributes and characteristics nature of facilities and civil infrastructure systems, the complexities of the current processes for their delivery and use, and the diverse set of resources required for both their delivery and their use. This paper offers a road map and an initial set of principles to implement built environment sustainability as a starting point for an ongoing, industry-wide dialogue and debate.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Vanegas, J. A.

citation count

  • 59

complete list of authors

  • Vanegas, Jorge A

publication date

  • December 2003